APRIL IN VERMONT.

Extreme snowshoeing.❄️⛄️
Snow wall meets ☀️
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“One attraction in coming to the woods to live was that I should have leisure and opportunity to see the Spring come in.”

-Thoreau

I feel the same about living up in Vermont. I remember reading Walden in college, but it didn’t make quite as much sense  – I didn’t “get it” – until I moved to the Northeast, where things are really frozen for months and months. I happen to call this season The Slow Melt. I get impatient with it at times, but it’s finally happening and so exciting to witness.

Unlike Thoreau, my journal is Instagram (woo!). Which, dear readers, let’s ponder: if Thoreau embraced an iPhone in the woods, would he be like the sh*t on Instagram? I think it could be a real possibility. He’d probably be the guy with 30K followers taking the same photo at the same time for a year or something crazy like that…

P.S. I am still eagerly awaiting wildflowers.

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A BAKE-OFF WEEKEND: On a sugar high.

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On Friday, some students organized a bake-off in the building. There were TABLES of desserts. I made Kate’s cookies, and despite my flashy sign and cool cake-stand display, I shockingly (ha!) did not win, but it was a lot of fun. A lemon brownie took the prize for best baked good, but I was on a sugar high for the rest of the weekend.

Otherwise, my weekend was pretty low-key. It’s the last official weekend of the semester before finals, and I helped out with a student event on Saturday. I got henna for the first time! Very cool. It’s made me slightly obsessed with looking at my left hand.

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On Sunday, I did some laundry, a bit of yoga, and then had a London Pre-Trip meeting with my students. We’re going for two-weeks at the end of July, but wanted to touch base before everyone left for the summer. I’m verrrrrrry excited to get to see London, aka my favorite city on the planet, again. I should reread my Jane Austen books, but instead, I plowed through a library version of this cheesy, yet entertaining historical romance book set in London.

What else? Oh, I’m headed to New Orleans, my second favorite city, at the end of the week to visit friends and check out Jazz Fest. I’ve been playing a lot of Arcade Fire and Bruce Springsteen in anticipation, and I’ve been trying to start packing. I think it might be warm but rainy….dresses and rain boots?

 

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I BOUGHT A MIXER!

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I forgot to mention that last weekend, I bought a new mixer. (Excuse the crappy iPhone pics. I am obviously quite rusty in the food photo department…) I had lost one of my beaters from my old mixer when I moved to Japan, and kept thinking I’d find it…..alas, months later I still have no idea where it went. So I bought a new one. It’s a very basic mixer that I bought on sale at Sears, but hey, it’s better than mixing by hand!

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I was feeling under-the-weather on Easter Sunday, but didn’t feel like being totally anti-social. After an Easter meal – which was my favorite breakfast foods – Jen and I made an Eastern European Blueberry-Almond cake.

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We went right by the recipe, except couldn’t find almond filling (which is different than paste), so we made our own by following this recipe.

And we added twice the amount of blueberries.

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After baking, we dusted the cake with powdered sugar, and the final product was deliciousness. My first homemade cake that I’ve had in a while, since I’ve been baking either cookies, boxed brownies, or Funfetti cake all year. We ate, like, half of it while watching the movie Chocolat.

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Oh, and we ate our slices on Santa plates. Ha!

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Bon week-end!

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MERLIN – part Chartreux?

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Picture #1: Merlin, indulging in his favorite activity: watching birds out of the window.

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Picture #2: Chartreux cat that I found on the web.

Now, Merlin was a homeless, stray kitten found near the lake in Vermont when I took him home, but wow, he bears an uncanny resemblance to the rare-French breed cat called the Chartreux.

My family hears me say this often and they like to tell me he’s NOT really a Chartreux, and NOT that it really matters, but the above photos that I recently found look like the same cat. Merlin is also large and powerful (but with short legs). Affectionate and a good traveler, he stays mostly silent. He rarely meows and will only silently purr when pleased. Just.like.the.Chartreux.

Coincidence?

 

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STREET ART MURALS AROUND THE WORLD


Ordes, Spain

I’ve browsing street art murals lately because of our big mural project at work (which JUST finished!) Our mural is quite long, but here’s a tiny pano at the moment. It’s been raining too much these past few days to get some good finished photos.

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Anywho, here’s some of my favorites street art murals from around the world that I’ve browsed this week. These artists must have awesome arm muscles…..just sayin’.


Atlanta, Georgia

Katowice, Poland

Arhus, Denmark

Lisbon, Portugal

Lyon, France

Lodz, Poland


Murcia, Spain


New York City, NY


Lofoten, Norway

Dublin, Ireland

Paris, France

Montreal, Canada

Woodstock, South Africa

Sources: Complex/Bored Panda

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UKRAINIAN EGG DECORATING/PYSANKA.

Ukrainian Egg Decorating
Ukrainian Egg Decorating
Ukrainian Egg Decorating
Ukrainian Egg Decorating
Ukrainian Egg Decorating
Ukrainian Egg Decorating
Ukrainian Egg Decorating
Ukrainian Egg Decorating
Ukrainian Egg Decorating
Ukrainian Egg Decorating
Ukrainian Egg Decorating
Ukrainian Egg Decorating

Hi! Hope there was some fabulous Easter/Passover celebrations in your weekends. I was sick with a sinus cold for most of the weekend – and it still lingers on… – but I helped a professor with a Ukrainian Egg Decorating (Pysanka) workshop on Saturday, complete with Ukrainian candy!

Pysanka – it’s like AP level egg decorating. This stuff is no joke – each egg takes about two hours because it’s a reverse wax resist process with multiple dye steps and involves hollowing out the egg at the end – and this year the students made some AWESOME eggs. I was so impressed.

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I SPOKE TOO SOON…

#wtf #spring #burlington #vermont
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Errrrr….a snowy/icy walk on my way to Penny Cluse Cafe for a “work” breakfast yesterday morning.

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